Following on from our first, very successful, virtual Really Big Camp in May 2020, Craigalmond District ran VRBC21 over the weekend of 26th – 28th March with over 400 participants taking part from all sections and groups in the District. We ran the camp as an Event on the Craigalmond District Facebook page and asked our participants to share photos throughout the camp using #vrbc21.

There was a full programme of events in which we tried to replicate some of the familiar aspects of a more ‘normal’ camp. The theme for our camp was ‘Hope’ and we tried to reflect this in several of our activities.

Some participants camped outdoors whilst many pitched their tents inside or built blanket forts. There were even some brave enough to spend the (cold and windy) weekend in hammocks! Many took part as families with siblings and parents camping out too.

Proceedings kicked off with a welcome video from our District Commissioner, Mark Hesketh which was followed by two magic shows watched by 177 Beavers and Cubs; whilst the Scouts and Explorers took part in an interactive online gaming session.

On Saturday morning, after some rise and shine morning exercises we had a Facebook live cook along session, hosted by our resident chef Mark Petrie, where we prepared a yummy breakfast skillet. It was great to see members of all ages taking part, some even cooking outdoors on fire.

Especially for the weekend, we designed four activity walks throughout the district; two Nature walks (at Corstorphine Hill and Dundas Estate) and two walks focussed on Local knowledge (in Corstorphine Village and Stockbridge/ Water of Leith.) For each walk we designed a pack which explained the route, activities to complete along the way and related badgework. Our families really seemed to enjoy getting out and about and exploring places new to them.

On Saturday evening we had a campfire in which each group was invited to contribute a song; this was followed by an adult member’s social event including a quiz. We were joined by Martin Elliot (Regional Commissioner) whose team eventually prevailed over the District Commissioner’s following a hard-fought game of Rock/ Paper/ Scissors! It was great opportunity for leaders from throughout the district to interact socially as they would normally do at camp.

On Sunday morning, as is traditional at camp, we had a Scouts Own. Martin Elliot created a thought-provoking video which was followed by Explorer Scout Callum sharing his thoughts on the Scout Promise. Participants were asked to write and share Haikus around the theme ‘Hope for the future’. Here is one of my favourites:

Face-to-face Scouting –

Light at end of the tunnel?

REAL big camp next year!


Over the course of the weekend, we also issued a team challenge to groups (or families) to create a message of hope to be shared with the district. We asked individuals to contribute to part of a larger group (team) message and some groups came up with wonderful videos passing on their hopes for the future.

On Sunday afternoon our camp was brought to a close by our Scottish Commissioner, Sharkey who said how much he had enjoyed watching our camp and thanked all our members for a successful year despite the challenges faced.

Jackie Gibson